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May 20, 2010

Hosting Large Events at Your Church

Consider safety precautions for your building and staff.

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Whenever churches open their doors to the public they expose themselves to both opportunity and risk. A well-run event maximizes the opportunity and takes precautions against the risk. Use these simple tips from ChurchSafety.com the next time your church is considering hosting a large event.

Communicate Responsibility
Keep accountability. Event and Building Use forms are essential when letting outside groups use your church for an event. It's important that groups are held accountable for things they agree to in your Building Use forms and Event forms.

Hold up your end. Communicate to outside groups what your church is responsible for during their event. For example you may want some policies on handling medical emergencies, traffic, and parking lot safety.

Keep Your Building Up to Code
Be fire safe. If you don't already have one, create a plan for a fire emergency. Clearly mark the Exits and have a clearly communicated evacuation plan. If you haven't already, invite some professionals (local fire fighter or paramedic) to walk through your building, giving suggestions on how to better protect your church.

Have and emergency plan. Weather it's an in-house medical emergency team, or keeping first aid kits stocked around the church. Your facility should be ready to react to any potential medical emergency.

To learn more about hosting large events at church, visit ChurchSafety.com.

Lindsey Learn is assistant editor with the Church Management Team at Christianity Today International.

Related Tags: administration, administrator, facility, office, risk, safety

Comments

Are there nonprofit status issues that come up if a church charges for events like these (i.e. weddings, meetings, reunions, etc.)?

Chad--

Your question is a good one. When churches receive income that isn't from a typical source (i.e. a tithe or a capital campaign contribution), they need to understand the laws involving Unrelated Business Income Tax. Because circumstances will vary, I'd suggest you check out these resources:

The 2010 Church & Clergy Tax Guide: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?yhst-78230354700659+6LK6p5+20chcltaxguf.html

"Hosting Large Events at Your Church," (an electronic training resource): http://www.churchsafety.com/topics/property/buildings/hostinglargeeventsyourchurch?tCode=E066472CFE&dCode=505DF63B7B

"Protecting Your Church's Tax-Exempt Status," (an electronic training resource): http://www.churchsafety.com/topics/money/tax/protectingyourchurchstaxexemptstatus/cs53.html?tCode=E066472CFE&dCode=505DF63B7B

"Launching a Business at Church," (an electronic training resource): http://www.churchsafety.com/topics/law/governance/launchingabusinessatchurch/cs01.html?tCode=E066472CFE&dCode=505DF63B7B

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